Tom Tugendhat Brexit stance: New Prime Minister hopefuls voting record
Former Secretary reveals how Boris Johnson could make comeback
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Boris Johnson’s downfall on Thursday triggered a mad dash amongst his Conservative party colleagues. Several figures have taken the opportunity to announce bids to replace him as they vie for the votes of the party’s approximately 200,000 members. Among them is Tom Tugendhat, who became the latest candidate yesterday evening and has already won high-profile endorsements.
What is Tom Tugendhat’s voting record?
While he doesn’t spend much time in the limelight, Mr Tugendhat is a leading Conservative.
The Westminster-born MP for Tonbridge and Malling serves as chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, from where he leads scrutiny of the Government’s foreign policy.
He has a voting record that fits in with the rest of his party, having consistently backed Government funding reductions, but he differs in one key realm; Brexit.
Mr Tugendhat backed calls for a referendum on EU membership, a core promise of David Cameron’s Government, and voted against further integration with the bloc.
But when the vote eventually came around in 2016, he was among a clutch of Conservative MPs who voted against Brexit.
He did not try to stop Theresa May from delivering the referendum result further down the line and supported her efforts to create a withdrawal agreement.
And he has since continued down this path, having recently disagreed with his colleague Tobias Ellwood about returning to the Single Market.
In early June, Mr Ellwood suggested the UK could resolve some of its Brexit woes by rejoining the EU Single Market.
He called on the Government to move and “energise our economy through these stormy waters” while advocating for economic cooperation with the bloc.
In a social media post, Mr Tugendhat disagreed, saying Mr Ellwood was wrong and that the Single Market “puts the EU in charge”.
He said rejoining the economic cooperation zone would lead to new EU rules, open borders, and end the UK’s work on new trade deals.
He added: “We need a deal British people control not foreign laws with no say.
“Let’s plan for the future and stop looking back. This decision is made.”
Mr Tugendhat repeated this statement today when he pledged not to reverse the Brexit vote.
Replying to a comment on Twitter, he said he would “make it work” in a statement similar to one made by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer last week.
If he wins this year, the ex-soldier has made other pledges to depart from Mr Johnson’s Government.
Writing in the Telegraph to launch his bid on July 7, he praised the Prime Minister for delivering Brexit but called for “change”.
He said: “I am putting together a broad coalition of colleagues that will bring new energy and ideas to Government and, finally, to bridge the Brexit divide that has dominated our recent history.
“Everyone in the next Government will be committed to maintaining and strengthening Brexit, fixing the Northern Ireland Protocol and safeguarding the Union. The full advantages of Brexit are yet to be unleashed.”
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